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This essay will explore how sense cannot be trusted to give us the whole truth in all cases at all times.

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Introduction

In this essay, truth will be defined by way of the Correspondence and Coherence Theory of Truth, which is the theory that truth corresponds to and coheres with an image of reality. To determine facts,human beings rely heavily upon the summation of what we receive from our 5 senses. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, sense is defined as "A faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus" and by conventional classification; human beings have five senses, sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing. For example we know for a fact that it is raining because of our senses of sight and touch, thus we know it is 'true' that it is raining because of this fact obtained by our senses. However, many discrepancies exist in determining the truth based on our senses because our preconceived notions of our individual perceptions work together with our senses in order to give us our own perception of the facts obtained by our senses. It can be seen here that sense must work together with perception. This essay will explore how sense cannot be trusted to give us the whole truth in all cases at all times. ...read more.

Middle

This will undoubtedly affect our reading of historical knowledge, the intention of history being a thoroughly objective study of our past, and thus a line between opinion and fact must exist. However, as we study history, we cannot help but be influenced by our opinions and backgrounds on our interpretations of those readings that would have been influenced by the historian's own preconceived notions and biases. Thus it can be seen from above that our senses cannot be fully trusted to give us the truth when we allow preconceived notions to color our perceptions of our sensory inputs. Moreover, we should not trust our senses to give us truth if our perception of sensory information is false. As human beings, we obtain data-based perceptions through our senses, and one way for us to gain 'truth' is to process or interpret these perceptions. And thus our conclusion stemming from the processing of these perceptions results in our belief of the truth. However, if our perceptions of our sensory inputs are false then it can never be called 'truth'. An Ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, believed that humans could never learn the truth or reality of anything if we wholeheartedly continue to rely on our senses to gain the truth of our reality. ...read more.

Conclusion

The scientist then believes it is a plasmolysed cell purely based on sight and perception and then deducing that because the cell looks a certain way, it is plasmolysed. Therefore, through the sense of sight, external information has been received and then transformed into a truth through the scientist's perception. However, the scientist has no way of knowing that they are truthfully seeing what they perceive. They could be seeing something different, a mutated cell or even something that is not a cell. In this case, the scientist is allowing previously acquired notions to influence what he is seeing. Although the process being observed may not be plasmolysis, the scientist sees plasmolysis because he or she believes it to be so, and thus believes it to be the truth. As seen above, we cannot trust our senses to give us the truth all the time because of the unreliability of perception and preconceived notions affecting our perceptions. Although certain truths can be obtained when we can corroborate our information with others and when they cohere with what is known, they are not necessarily the whole 'truth' and may not apply in all cases. I believe that our senses are the foundation for us to begin to embark on our search for the 'truth'; they should never be the deciding factor of 'truth'. ...read more.

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